Millions of Germans tune in to esports

  • Around 16 million Germans have already watched esports tournaments
  • Growing awareness: 8 out of 10 Germans are familiar with esports
  • An increasing number of esports participants: A quarter of all gamers in Germany have already taken part in esports competitions

When the epic showdown in Seoul on November 19 decides the new “League of Legends” world champion, millions of Germans tuned in to witness one of the most electrifying esports tournaments in the world. The global phenomenon of esports has become an integral part of the media consumption for many Germans, as revealed in the latest survey conducted by game – The German Games Industry Association in collaboration with the market research company YouGov. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Germans have already caught an esports tournament or match – that’s around 16 million people. The number of esports viewers in Germany has shot up by over 4 million since 2020. Interest is particularly strong among the younger generation, with almost half (48 percent) of the 16-24-year-olds and 45 percent of the 25-34-year-olds having indulged in esports broadcasts. Around 27 percent of the viewers even have their favorite esports teams, whose successes they passionately follow. In total, almost 8 out of 10 Germans (77 percent) know what esports are or have at least heard of them – a significant boost from the 71 percent in 2020.

But it’s not just about spectating; approximately a quarter of all gamers (23 percent) in Germany, roughly 10 million people, have thrown themselves into esports competitions, be it LAN parties or online leagues. Among the 25-34-year-old gamers, more than 4 out of 10 (42 percent) have jumped into the esports action. In 2020, the percentage of German gamers actively participating in esports was only 18 percent.

“When thinking of top esports teams worldwide, names like BIG, G2 esports, or SK Gaming increasingly come to mind, and these successful esports organizations are from Germany. It’s become a global phenomenon with millions tuning in for top tournaments and leagues, both here in Germany and around the world. Esports events have become genuine crowd-pullers right here in our country,” remarks Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – The German Games Industry Association. “This phenomenon is being recognized and harnessed in several federal states. For instance, Schleswig-Holstein has official state championships and a funded esports regional center, while North Rhine-Westphalia backs its own talent team through the esports player foundation and Munich is hosting the 2024 League of Legends EMEA Championship, a tournament that Bayern actively vied for. This kind of political support is essential and is helping to make Germany more enticing for gamers and millions of fans.”

About the market data

The data used are based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH on behalf of game, in which 2,053 people participated between July 27 and August 6, 2023. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 16 and above.

game –The German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members represent the entire video game ecosystem, from development studios and publishers to esports event organisers, educational institutions and other related entities. We are co-organisers of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are a shareholder in the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK), the Foundation for Digital Games Culture, the esports player foundation, devcom and the collecting society VHG, as well as co-host of the German Computer Game Awards. Serving as a central point of contact for media, as well as political and social institutions, we provide comprehensive expertise in areas including market development, game culture and media literacy, and address any inquiries or concerns. Together we are making Germany the heart of gaming worldwide. With games, we enrich the lives of all people.

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